City of Ember - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

City of Ember Reviews

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Mark Holcomb
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
November 10, 2008
It's an unfortunate end to a promising movie.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
November 10, 2008
Ultimately, it didn't move me in any way.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 10, 2008
Even if it occasionally goes off course, City of Ember provides audiences with a thought-provoking and family-friendly adventure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
October 10, 2008
A thrilling adventure tale and teen fantasy that is grounded in real concerns about who is managing the planet.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
October 10, 2008
Though City of Ember is a bit hurried in execution, this first live-action film by director Gil Kenan has the subterranean feel of a dream being described.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
October 10, 2008
The story, based on Jeanne Duprau's novel of the same name, is beautifully constructed. It builds until it reaches the point that it's one edge-of-your-seat moment after another.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 10, 2008
Except for watching Bill Murray get attacked by a giant mole (something unique in Billy boy's career so far) this sci-fi fantasy aimed at kids feels wan and warmed over.
| Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 10, 2008
City of Ember has almost anything one could want from a science fiction-based family adventure film: likeable characters, an imaginative setting, and a fast pace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 10, 2008
Both light entertainment and smart, subversive literature, urging the young to think for themselves, question authority and make their own destiny.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
October 10, 2008
Ember is seldom riveting, but it's consistently compelling, and its uncompromising literal and metaphorical darkness renders its climax enormously satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 10, 2008
And though the film ultimately falls short of its considerable promise, there's more than enough here to keep thoughtful moviegoers - of any age - intrigued.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 10, 2008
Splendidly cast, intelligent, graphically inventive romp.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 10, 2008
There's shockingly little plot in this tale of the denizens of the titular city.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
October 10, 2008
A grim fantasy about a cloistered subterranean metropolis that wants to be both a kids' adventure and a dystopian finger-wag. That director Gil Kenan's second feature never quite succeeds as either is a shame for all the dazzling craftsmanship.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 10, 2008
City of Ember is one of those sparkling and smart family fantasy films that breed respect for the writers of young adult novels and serve as reminder that good things do come out of Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 10, 2008
The brightest star is the soundstage that stands in for endangered Ember. It's a beguiling, belching, labyrinthine example of movie magic.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 10, 2008
[The filmmakers] create a sharply realized and fantastically rich underground city.
| Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
October 10, 2008
A murky, directionless plot sinks this big-budget fantasy.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 10, 2008
The story's powered by the sense of discovery that moves classic quest tales -- the idea that there's something much, much bigger out there if only you can find it. It's a modest movie that understands the sky's the limit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Justin Chang
Variety
October 10, 2008
City of Ember would have functioned better as a five-minute theme-park ride than as a 94-minute family film.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 10, 2008
While director Gil Kenan and writer Caroline Thompson's work leans heavily toward children's fantasy, their film leaves gaping science-fiction holes.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 10, 2008
City of Ember suffers from being as under-plotted as it is overdecorated.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 10, 2008
At moments City of Ember suggests a mild satire of end-of-days ideology.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 10, 2008
More often, all the running, the hiding, the escaping (from giant moles, from giant Murray) are decidedly less exciting, and compelling, than City of Ember wants to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Nigel Floyd
Time Out
October 10, 2008
This seriously entertaining film celebrates the idea that, despite their elders' complacency, the young will find the strength to imagine a better future for themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Neely Tucker
Washington Post
October 9, 2008
It's not an entirely convincing trip, but it is the sort of satisfying movie you wished they would make more often.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 9, 2008
Begins where Dr. Strangelove ended: what if the world ended and humanity was forced to live underground? (Minus Strangelove's promise of an army of fertile vixens.)
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
October 9, 2008
An entertaining kids' film with more imagination than most.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 9, 2008
To be fair, City of Ember would probably entertain younger viewers, if they haven't already been hopelessly corrupted by high-powered sci-fi on TV and video.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 9, 2008
Whether by coincidence or intention, City of Ember hits home, leaving you hoping that we'll find our own Doon and Lina to get to the bottom of things before it's too late.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Entertainment Weekly
September 25, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: B-